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18 Feb 2021

Buth Reaksmey Kongkea, Khmer Times

Cambodia: Phnom Penh Municipal Court continue to hear trial hearing of prominent union leader charged with incitement; Rong Chhun & his supporters deny the accusations

"Chhun and supporters claim foul play at trial", 18 February 2021

Union chief Rong Chhun and two of his supporters denied their charges of “incitement” ... at their ongoing trial, claiming that police had used unjust methods in their arrests.

Presiding Judge of the Phnom Penh Municipal Court Le Sokha identified the accused as Chhun, 51, the president of the Cambodian Confederation of Unions and a member of the Cambodia Watchdog Council, Ton Nimol, 41, a motorbike taxi driver, and Sar Kanika, 37, a grocery vendor, who were charged with “incitement to commit a felony or cause social unrest” under Article 495 of the Criminal Code in connection with a statement Chhun made claiming that Cambodia had ceded land to Vietnam...

At ... trial, the court re-questioned the three accused over the incitement allegation, but the trio denied the charge, saying they did not commit anything as accused and were arrested without court warrants...

Kanika claimed that police forged and edited messages between her and a friend to frame her with “incitement”.

On the day of her arrest, Kanika said, she attended a public forum, ... Afterwards, she was arrested, and police seized her phone and detained her at Phnom Penh Municipal Police Headquarters for questioning.

Kanika said police discovered she had downloaded Chhun’s statement on the border issue and used it to accuse her and send her to court.

“I did not commit anything as I was accused by police and the court. I was only the victim of accusation from police,” Kanika said. “I deny my charge.”...

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